The Mediterranean tradition of celebrating the Mediterranean Coast day on September 25 was continued this year as well. The host of the central regional celebration was the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, represented by Ms. Paola Gazzolo, Regional Minister for Territorial Safety, Soil and Coast Defence, Civil Protection. The event took place in the beautiful coastal city of Rimini, famous for ts endless sand beaches, which was most appropriate since the main topic of this year’s celebration was focused on the beaches.
The morning session, more formal, was organised at the premises of "Palacongressi" conference centre. The Regional Minister addressed the audience with an inspired welcoming speech, for which she was joined by Ms. Sara Visentin, Councillor at the Rimini Municipality in charge of the environment, energy, sustainable policies, youth policies, technological innovations, international cooperation and peace, Mr. Maurizio Melucci, Regional Minister for Tourism & Commerce of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Ms. Maria Luisa Silva Mejias, UNEP-MAP Co-ordinator and Executive Secretary, and Ms. Zeljka Skaricic, PAP/RAC Director.
A number of relevant presentations were made illustrating experience of various Mediterranean countries in ICZM implementation, with special emphasis on beaches (the presentations available at the download section of this site. The experts of the panel were :
In the afternoon, a group of students from the “Vladimir Nazor” high school, Split, Croatia, presented the results of the work carried out the past summer. They spent the summer studying three beaches of Split and presented to the audience a brief history of the beaches, current situation and problems, and made suggestions for improvement. Their intervention met great appreciation from the audience for giving a structured presentation of their vision of the future of the beaches, and showing great concern about the social, economic and environmental values of the coast. This part of the event was concluded by the film "Marine habitat", made by the Institute for Physical Planning of the Istria Region, Croatia, which gave an insight into the wealth of biodiversity of Istria\'s and the Adriatic Sea's submarine ecosystems.
In the afternoon, the participants were invited to take part in less formal events organised on the beach of Rimini, were traditional fishing techniques were re-enacted. Fresh grilled fish and sea food was offered and served by the local fishermen.
Celebration on Rimini's beach
Back-to-back with the Cost Day celebration, PAP/RAC organised a technical meeting of PAP National Focal Points which was held on September 24, while the partners in the SHAPE project also had a workshop on September 26.
The technical meeting was attended by 40 participants, out of which twelve were PAP/RAC NFPs, (Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Spain). It was also attended by the UNEP/MAP Co-ordinator, the representatives of the SHAPE project and the PAP/RAC staff members.